Unity Previews demoed with a third-party Wikipedia lens
Days ago, the developers published a branch containing a new exciting Unity functionality, named Unity Previews, presenting itself, at a first glance, as a powerful previewer for apps, music tracks, etc, basically, a 1-click away manner of (by right-clicking on an item) accessing extra details about an item (such as app name, ratings, description, etc).
On a more careful look, Unity Previews open the door to a wide range of functionalities, with the massive potential of transforming both Unity and how users "digest" various informations, in the sense of "consuming" various data directly from the Dash, without the need to open a web-browser at all.
Unity lenses are usually utilizing online components, meaning, the lens gathers specific data from online places (such as Flickr, Wikipedia, Google Scholar, etc), data exposed in the Dash; the user opens the Dash, navigates to a preferred lens, types a desired term in the search area, bundle of actions that displays found items in the lens.
The searched&found&displayed items are usually presented with a small square preview image, title and a short description, in order to access the "real deal" the user must click on an item, action that opens it via the default web-browser.
The new Previews, along with exciting waiting-to-be-discovered functionalities, introduce the ability to let the user to read large portions of text, like for instance 3/4/etc pages directly from Dash's Previews at a press of a button, thus removing the need for a web-browser to be opened (and the content to be digested via the web-browser).
Furthermore, the Previews' text can be "backed" by large images with the "real" possibility of accurately describing the displayed text, consequently, the user can benefit, directly from the Dash, a high-quality bundle of long text (accurate description of a past event, in-depth steps to install a specific app, techniques of mass communication, Python programing, etc) with high-quality pictures (images of past events, images of buttons to be pressed when installing an app, images of powerful symbols used in mass communication, images of apps created with Python, etc).
David Calle (the developer of Unity Utilities lens, Torrents lens, etc) has already implemented a Unity lens featuring the new Previews, generating an exciting interesting use case of Unity Previews via Unity Wikipedia lens.
As seen in the bellow picture, the Previews have successfully rendered a massive amount of text from an online source, furthermore, without quality loss and/or limits, the tile is clearly displayed, the "body" text is readable and scrollable, text area enhanced by the visual representation of the Wikipedia article (the Jupiter image).
The manners of harnessing and using the Previews' power are "limitless", in cases like an IMDB lens (with proper movie picture and full text details exposed in the text area, furthermore, searching and founding movies with Spiderman and clicking on one Spiderman movie item, opens it in its preview, yet by utilizing the Dash's navigation icons, one is to easily navigate through all the Spiderman movies, basically, with a word,
Spiderman, typed in the IMDB lens and, helped by only the mouse pointer, the user is to in-depth visualize images and complete explanatory Spiderman bits), a horoscope lens (the Previews' image area to house various horoscope symbols and the text description to expose the horoscope from multiple cultures, like European, Chinese, Maya, etc, again, utilizing the navigation icons, the user can immediately read the horoscope related to one's sister, cousin, school colleagues, etc).